Indy special to Anderson CLERMONT, Ind. (August 28, 2006) -- Put simply by Greg Anderson, Indy is special. After all, he has won here four times, including the last three years consecutively, in five final rounds. Only Pro Stock legend Bob ...
Indy special to Anderson
CLERMONT, Ind. (August 28, 2006) -- Put simply by Greg Anderson, Indy is special. After all, he has won here four times, including the last three years consecutively, in five final rounds. Only Pro Stock legend Bob Glidden and Warren Johnson have more U.S. National wins than Anderson. Glidden has nine and WJ has six.
Should Anderson find the O'Reilly Raceway Park (ORP) Winner's Circle this year, he will become only the third Pro Stock driver to have four consecutive wins at the most sought-after single event title in drag racing today. Glidden accomplished the feat from 1985-1988 and Warren Johnson duplicated Glidden's effort from 1992-1995. Only time will tell if Anderson is the first driver to reach four in the new Millennium.
"Indy has been golden to me - it's special," said Anderson, driver of the KB Racing LLC-owned, Summit Racing-backed Pro Stock Pontiac. "I've had a lot of success there over the years and there's no race that means more to me than the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals. You can win a driver's championship, but if you don't win the U.S. Nationals once or twice, then to me, your career is just not complete. Winning this year would be especially sweet, given the dry spell that I've been in."
The dry spell, of which Anderson speaks, would be a monsoon to other drivers. Granted he's not in the top spot in the NHRA POWERade Pro Stock point standings that he's become accustomed to, but the year is not over and he is in the No. 2 spot just 121 points in arrears, trailing teammate Jason Line with six races left, including the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals. Not an insurmountable number.
Also, in 2006 he had been to four final rounds, winning one. Again, not Greg Anderson numbers of past years, but numbers that many drivers would take in a New York minute and Anderson still has time to add to those numbers starting right here at Indy. And, it should be noted that the Minnesota born and raised driver, who now calls North Carolina home, has nine No. 1 qualifying positions in 17 races this season.
"This new Pontiac GTO has been running good and we've had our share of poles," reflected Anderson, "but we just haven't been able to translate that to the winner's circle on race day. I feel that I've driven decent in the last few races, even good enough to win, but we just haven't been able to close the deal. I would like to turn that around at Indy and start a streak that will lead to my fourth championship. I need a win and I think we're about ready to do that. Indy would be a great place to start."
At the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals, Anderson advanced to his first final round in 1999 before losing to his former boss, Warren Johnson. Two years later in 2001, Anderson once again advanced to the final round. This time he took home his first U.S. Nationals trophy with a final-round win over Mark Osborne.
Then he got on a roll. In 2003, Anderson won the first of his three consecutive U.S. Nationals titles with a final-round victory over Kurt Johnson, repeating the feat in 2004 when he defeated Kenny Koretsky and then he got the best of Richie Stevens in 2005.
In addition to his four wins at ORP, Anderson has been No. 1 qualifier at the granddaddy of national events twice (2004-05), and his KB Racing LLC/Summit Racing Equipment Pontiac GTO set both ends of the Pro Stock ORP track record last year with a run of 6.689 seconds at 205.72 mph.
During the recent test session at ORP, Anderson shared the following thoughts: "Right now, I think Jason and I both have the two best cars. Jason's GTO has been great for the last 10 or 12 races, and that's going to continue. It's not going to be easy catching him, he has fantastic equipment and he's done a great job. We have two equal horses, and it will come down to the two variables behind the wheel, along with Dave Connolly, Kurt (Johnson) and anyone else who is going to be in this championship mix. It's not going to be easy, but the good thing is that Jason and I both know we have good equipment, we're both driving better, and we have as good a chance as anybody."
The Mac Tools U.S. Nationals is not only the most prestigious race of the year, it has the most qualifying sessions of any event -- five. Qualifying for Anderson and his KB Racing LLC-owned, Summit Racing Equipment Pontiac GTO begins with one Pro Stock sessions on Friday, Sept. 1, scheduled for 6:15 p.m. Two more sessions are scheduled for Saturday, Sept. 2 at 1 and 6:15 p.m. and concludes with two additional Pro Stock sessions on Sunday, Sept. 3, at 11 a.m. and 3 p.m. Anderson begins his quest for his fourth consecutive win at the Mac Tools U.S. Nationals on Monday, Sept. 4, with eliminations for all classes beginning at 11 a.m. All times are local Indianapolis time (ET) and subject to change at anytime.
-credit: kb racing